News in Brief 27 December 2016 (PM)

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Scene from Les Cayes, Haiti, in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the category 4 storm which made landfall in the country on 4 October.UN Photo/Logan Abassi


US $3.5 million grant awarded to restore Haiti schools

Over US $3.5 million in grants has been awarded by the UN to rapidly restore schools that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

The funds are also earmarked to assist an estimated 30,000 returnees as well as people evicted from public schools where they had sought refuge and basic aid after the disaster.

The two projects were approved by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) which provides fast and predictable funding to humanitarian crises around the world.

The education project will be led by the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) in the affected towns of Les Cayes, Port Salut, and Jeremie.

Sixteen thousand children between the ages of six and 18 who have been excluded from school as a result of the damage caused by the hurricane will benefit from the project.

Meanwhile, the shelter project led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) will target some 15,000 people facing dire and urgent needs after being evicted from the schools.

It's estimated that 1,633 schools are in need of repairs.

Conservation project seeks to educate locals about "sea cows"

A new initiative to help conserve the livelihoods of dugongs, popularly known as sea cows, has been launched by the UN Environment Programme, UNEP.

The Dugong and Seagrass Conservation Project aims to work with local communities to help them understand the benefits of conserving dugongs, a critically endangered species, and their habitat.

Dugongs are often affected by fishing activities and coastal pollution, or killed for their meat, or injured by boats.

The project seeks to adopt innovative ways to conserve the sea creature, such as using drones in Malaysia to conduct an aerial survey on dugong and seagrass monitoring.

The global dugong population has dropped sharply in recent years and is estimated at 120,000 – a tiny number given their huge range.

Afghan youth can play crucial role in building peace

Young women and men from Afghanistan have a crucial role to play in fostering peace in their communities, participants at a UN forum have concluded.

Students and activists in the southern province of Kandahar openly debated the role of youth in peace, the empowerment of youth activists and the promotion of good governance.

They agreed to launch a social media campaign on peace and put forward several other recommendations related to corruption, drug abuse, education, and security.

According to UN estimates, over 8,000 Afghan civilians have been killed in the conflict, and tens of thousands more were wounded.

The conflict also erodes the living conditions of people and deprives the country of opportunities for development and growth.

Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

Duration: 2'44''




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